Marine turtle species are all listed on the IUCN red lists of endangered species. Populations that are considered to be faring relatively well, such as the Mediterranean loggerhead Caretta caretta, are only doing so because of the vast amounts of effort put into long-term monitoring and conservation activities. To help MPA managers determine the best management strategies for marine turtle conservation, we are happy to release our latest guide named “Marine Turtles in MPAs: a monitoring and management guide”.
How can this guide help?
This guide aims to provide extensive but not exhaustive advice on factors to consider for the conservation of marine turtles within specific marine protected area settings, which are tailored to address the themes of species and habitat management, related to varying degrees of capacity. The guide will help MPA managers determine the best management strategies applicable in their area. This is done by identifying relevant data requirements and monitoring and research methods to be able to acquire and understand vital population metrics and assess current and future needs to ensure good conservation status.
The core of this guide is a suite of Decision Trees that systematically and progressively deal with the assessment and management process that an MPA authority should consider in order to ensure any turtles present are protected from harm and their critical habitats are preserved in a state as to sustain turtles at or above current population levels. Annexed to this guide are scientifically valid and internationally approved protocols that indicate how to carry out appropriate work for marine turtle conservation and how to use the results garnered from them. Where applicable, the protocols cite source literature so that the MPA managers can read deeper into the topic.
In December 2020, we organised a webinar to present the contents of this guide, accompanied by its author ALan Rees, who explains how it works in order to facilitate its use by managers and field actors.